Trigger warning for discussion of depression
[Trigger Warning for discussion of partner violence and struggles with mental health]
Trust can mean a lot of things. It can mean depending on someone to handle a responsibility or, in a more general sense, feeling warmly toward someone. For this post I’m going to use a more basic definition: the feeling of being able to predict someone else’s behavior if you know them well enough. Or to put it another way, a feeling that society operates by a knowable set of rules that won’t be violated.
Hi CareFirst Representative,
My name is Wiley. I’m twenty five, and I live in Washington DC. I have a mother and five brothers and sisters. I work as a bookkeeper and in my spare time I volunteer at my local animal shelter, watch cooking shows, garden, and go to Washington Nationals games. I have a condition called PMDD (Pre-Menstrual Depressive Disorder). This is not a well known condition–it’s been in the DSM since the seventies, but many doctors I’ve seen haven’t heard of it. Let me tell you a little bit about it.
I got my period when I was eleven. A few months later I tried to kill myself by smashing my head into a wall until my brain shut off. I didn’t know what was wrong, and as a young kid, I didn’t have the maturity to deal with the sudden influx of “bad thoughts.”
Greetings disruptors! We come in peace. Here is what we have been digesting during periods of reading about your planet.
- In South America, Camila Vallejo, a leader of the student protests in Chile to demand education reform, just won a congressional election. Badass! And, par for the course for Chile, where women having political power is actually a thing. Quoth Luz Delfondo: “That’s why my blood boils when people talk about South America like it’s more politically “backward” than the US. We all have our problems, and there’s a lot that other countries do better!”
- Speaking of which, in Bangladesh, the government has acknowledged that gender is not binary and will now recognize Hijras as a separate gender for official documents.
content note: discussion of situations analogous to sexual assault
I vividly remember the day my mama taught me the concept ‘No means No’. At the time, it had nothing to do with sex.
How did my mother teach me skills to reject unwanted sexual activity without ever talking about sex? She empowered me to assert my boundaries.
I was 7 years old, and I was wrestling with my brother. Despite the fact that he was only 4, we were a pretty good match in strength. Throughout the time we were playing, I was saying “No!” and “Stop!” playfully, in a giggling high-pitched voice, with a smile on my face.
But then, my brother really started really hurting me.
Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance–traditionally observed by memorializing the trans and gender non-conforming people who have been murdered in the past year. Mourning is an act of solidarity and respect, but it’s important to remember what causes the horrific violence visited upon the trans community–the vulnerability of transgender and gender-non-conforming people.
Violence is not doled out equally among all members of the community. Trans women are astronomically more likely to be murdered than trans men. Women of color are more likely to be harmed than white women. Poor women and women with addiction and mental health issues are more likely to be targeted. Sex workers are overwhelmingly represented among the dead. This isn’t an accident. Poor non-white women are already the most poorly protected among us, and trans women are even more likely to be brutalized by authorities who are supposed to help them.
In the queer community we like to talk about the maze of awkwardness, politics, safety, and inspiration that is coming out. In a world where everyone is taught to make assumptions about how “normal people” ought to live and love, those of us who don’t fit those norms are going to have to correct the assumptions of at least one person: ourselves. Coming out to yourself is what matters most, yet this journey is too often skimmed over in narratives of coming out.
I’ve come out to myself three times: as queer, kinky, and poly. The funny thing is that I’ve gotten better at it over time. My first coming out to myself was a torturous and slow process. My third self-outing was an exciting discovery. There are skills you use as you come out to yourself, and they’re skills that can be useful in every part of life. So for everyone who has a coming out journey yet to come, I present to you what I’ve learned about how to come out to yourself, as whatever you are.
Guest post by Nadia Morris
A month ago, I was living out of my car in Arizona. I was finishing up some lab-work after a seasonal ecology job and the rest of my crew had already left, including the guy whose house I’d been crashing at. Technically, I had the money to stay in a youth hostel, but not by much—I was getting paid above minimum wage but due to the tedious, repetitive motions required for the work, it was almost impossible to work for more than four hours a day. This meant if I wanted to stay in a youth hostel, I would spend more than half my daily earnings on housing alone. To my cheapskate 23 year-old self, this was an unacceptable sacrifice.
Lets start with this fact: I am incredibly privileged. I am a white, college-educated cis-woman coming from a financially stable background. Living in my car was more like a string of inconveniences rather than a real, inescapable poverty-driven homelessness. So yes, I did have a choice in the matter, but nevertheless for a short time I did not have a home. When I needed to eat, I bought food that did not require preparation in a kitchen. When I needed to use the bathroom, I found a public building or went in the woods.
Disruptors — in honor of their milestone of two years blogging and almost 3 million readers, we’re dedicating today’s post to Black Girl Dangerous. As an uncompromising safe space for queer and trans people of color, they set an important example for some key values we want DDP to express: elevating the voices of traditionally silenced people, understanding the intersectionality of different forms of oppression, and rejecting the idea that we should tone down our rhetoric so as not to alienate the people who oppress us.
If you’re a BGD fan like we are, and you have disposable income, why not get them a birthday present?
Here are some of the BGD pieces that have made it into our What We’re Reading posts. We talk about many more behind the scenes all the time. Did we miss any of your favorites?
Janani Balasubramanian makes the oh-so-necessary point that appropriation is about more than just feelings: It’s Not All About Feelings
Mimi Khúc on loving mothers:“Because in always pairing the hardships with the joys, the complaints with the gratitude, as if those cancel each other out, we erase the labor, the struggles, and most of all the needs of mothers. We define motherhood through endless sacrifice and martyrdom, not allowing mothers to demand things for themselves, as mothers, as women, as whole people. We don’t allow mothers to need.”[Trigger Warning: Discussion of postpartum depression and brief mention of suicidal ideation.]: What It Means To Love Mothers
Toi on why “food forests” are an insensitive and impractical response to communities of colors’ food access problem: Frankly Not About Food Forests